Hold onto your butts.

According to two sources cited by the Boston Herald, current Boston Red Sox General Manager Theo Epstein is close to jumping ship in favor of the Chicago Cubs.

The sources say a number of things:

(1) A deal is very close, and likely to be announced within the next 24 to 48 hours;

(2) Epstein is believed to be receiving “powers greater than he has in Boston;”

(3) One hangup in the deal has been Boston ownership’s efforts to keep Epstein; and

(4) Another hangup has been the amount of/type of compensation going back to Boston should Epstein decide to leave for the Cubs. The sources could not say whether the compensation would be a player, money, or both.

In any event, one of the sources said “this is going to be resolved very soon.”

I’d say you can set your phasers to “excited.” Keep in mind, these are still “rumors” (though they comport with everything else we’ve heard and everything the logical centers of our brains tell us), and anything could happen. Indeed, the compensation piece could still derail things. It’s going to be a crazy week.

As I said: hold onto your butts.

(Plug: And “like” Bleacher Nation on Facebook and follow it on Twitter to get the latest.)

UPDATE: Peter Gammons, still considered a Boston insider, just tweeted to Paul Sullivan, “It could happen, but reports are far ahead of decisions,” implying that, while things are close, it could still go either way.

  • Dave

    *Breaking News* Cubs trade Dick Tidrow to the Red Sox for Theo Epstein

  • http://t3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTfpKusbwM46tWfC3kTD5r6JYMvG_f4OxZ-voxW64SdCeMHq8J5 Coach Harris

    Do you guys think he will bring Francona with him?

  • Derek

    Espn scroll just said Cubs likely to hire Epstein as head of operations pending compensation talks, Compensation could involve prospects and cash but no major league players

  • Lou

    Gordon Edes of ESPN Boston believes if Epstein comes Sandberg will be hired as manager.

  • Mike

    interesting tidbit from the Boston Globe that may help put some of this into perspective about the holdup and negotiations. This from Peter Abraham:

    Beyond compensation from the Cubs, the various sides would have to negotiate what Red Sox staff members Epstein could bring with him to Chicago. That is more of an issue for the Red Sox than compensation.

  • Jay

    Theo is coming to chicago!
    -If the marlins want the cubs to eat most of sambrano’s salary the smartest decision would be to keep him. Like we should have kept carlos silva instead of just paying him his salary and sending him home just because he didn’t know how to shut up.
    -We don’t have that good of prospects that are almost MLB ready to trade for Joey Votto so lets get Prince Fielder for 5 years.
    – Pitching will be a big issue since our farm system isnt MLB

  • kansas cubs fan

    this made its way onto the mlb network baseline scroll so it should be really close

    • jstraw

      where in kansas? I’m in Topeka

      • Kansas Cubs Fan

        Im from Wichita!

        Good to see a fellow Kansan cubbie fan!

  • Jason

    Well my 2 cents worth that Starlin Castro, Matt Garza , and Brett Jackson are the only 3 guys I say are off limits for the Red Sox to get in compensation for Theo Epstein !!! Theo Gm and Ryno Manager would be Awesome and I feel this could be happening !!

    • Windy City Misfit

      I think it will be Jackson to Boston for Theo… But agree with the Ryno thing. It will still be fun to watch him back at Wrigley. I’d buy a ticket for it.

      • JulioZuleta

        Not a chance it’s Jackson. IF any prospects are involved (could just be cash, or Cubs taking a bad Boston contract) I think you’d be looking at some one like a Jae Hoon Ha. Plus the fact that he is being promoted negates compensation to a point.

        I think people are getting a little carried away with the compensation thing in the wake of the Guillen “trade”. The Marlins were clearly guilty of tampering, allowing the White Sox to get a couple of decent prospects. Trades for managers/ GM are not commonplace at all. My guess is money at this point.

  • JW

    I can barely breathe…!

  • BZ

    God I hope this happens…

    Way to be on top of this Brett.

  • LouCub

    Guys lets get this done, I won’t be able to sleep tonight, it’s like Christmas Eve as a kid waiting in anticipation…It needs to get done soon, it’s best for both organizations if it’s done tommorow.

  • John

    ESPN is hilarious in their Theo coverage. They have said that the Cubs were on the brink, verge, cusp, and precipice to hiring Theo. I am glad they are using their thesaurus.

  • Cliffy

    WEEI reporting deal is done. Five years north of fifteen million dollars. Announcement will be by end of week sooner rather than later. Working on who Theo might bring with. I might have missed any talk of compensation. They are also trashing Tito, on pain killers and womanizer. Good stuff

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Thanks, Cliffy. I’m listening (since 6:20 EST), but they haven’t said it again. Were they saying it was definitely done, or were they just saying, “here’s what the latest scuttlebutt is”?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Now I just heard it. Cool.

  • Cliffy

    They said there sources said it was a done deal.not scuttlebutt. Also stated negotiations with cubs started on friday afternoon.

    • Fishin Phil

      Somebody pinch me!

  • Cliffy

    They will get back to theo shortly, I will keep listening.

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